According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (in particular paragraphs #2673 through #2682 which explore the words of the Hail Mary) it seems as if the Hail Mary is considered a prayer. Here are a few excerpts:
- "Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in his mysteries..."
- "Holy Mary, Mother of God...by entrusting ourselves to her prayer, we abandon ourselves to the will of God together with her: "Thy will be done."
Additionally, the Catechism calls Mary herself "the perfect prayer" and says that "when we pray to her, we are adhering with her to the plan of the Father, who sends his Son to save all men."